One of the most unusual festivals that we have experienced so far in Nepal is the festival of Holi, where everything shuts for a day so the entire population can throw water balloons!
Holi is celebrated in Nepal and India, because of an old Hindu story. Prahlada, was the son of one of the great demons. The story goes that Prahlada opposed his father’s arrogance and desire that everyone worship him and not the other gods. Because of this his father attempted to kill his son on several occasions. He was given poison which turned to nectar and was trampled by elephants but survived. Finally his father ordered him onto a pyre to sit on the lap of the demoness Holika. Although Holika had been given a boon that she could not be killed by fire, the pyre consumed her whilst Prahlada survived. The saving of Prahlada and burning of Holika is celebrated as Holi.
Nowadays this national holiday is a fun day where those who venture into the street risk being either soaked or covered in brightly coloured powder. Some don’t venture out over the door of their house, whilst the kids and teenagers love it. Over the years it has become quite notorious as water balloons not only contain water and the traditional coloured power, but also oil and small stones.
The ambush is set as the kids wait, not so patiently, for someone to come by. Realizing that there is someone closer (the poor photographer), they turn their attention on me.
Having scampered upstairs, it didn’t stop them trying.
As it is national holiday, all the schools are closed and the kids of KISC gather in a parents back garden for their own private water fight.
Walking around the neighbourhood, most of the kids had decorated their faces.
But I think these boys won the face painting competition.
At Pulchowk, earlier in the day there had been a large water fight.
At the pokhari at Pulchowk, the water pistols were replaced with buckets.
On a personal note, we would like to thank the many people who were so helpful to us during our short time at home. As most of you know it was complicated as Valerie and the kids returned to Nepal as planned after the 2 week break, but I had an extended time at home due to developing a clot in my calf. Thankfully we are all back in Kathmandu and the ankle continues to heal as I hobble around with a stick.